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Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton dominate new poll

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both gained ground against their competitors in a new national poll of 2016 presidential hopefuls. 

Quinnipiac University's latest national poll shows the billionaire real estate developer getting 27 percent support. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida placed with 17 percent in the still-crowded GOP field. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who was statistically tied with Trump in Quinnipiac's November poll, slid to third place with 16 percent. 

The poll of 1,453 registered voters nationwide was conducted between Nov. 23 and Nov. 30. It has a 2.6-percentage-point margin of error.

Among Democrats, former first lady and secretary of state Clinton expanded her lead over  Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her only competition among Democrats. 

Sixty percent of Democratic voters now say they support Clinton, who also served as a U.S. senator from New York. Sanders' support shrank from 35 percent in Quinnipiac's November poll to 30 percent today.

"It doesn't seem to matter what he says or who he offends, whether the facts are contested or the 'political correctness' is challenged, Donald Trump seems to be wearing Kevlar," Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said during a discussion of Trump's polling resiliency. 

Trump has a penchant for insulting reporters. Last week, he appeared to mock the disability of New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski. Trump denies he was mimicking the effects of the reporter's arthrogryposis. The Donald lambasted Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin on Tuesday, calling her "a real dummy."

The Quinnipiac poll finds voters don't like or trust Trump. Fifty-seven percent have a negative opinion of him, and 59 percent think he is not honest or trustworthy.

But Mrs. Clinton fares poorly on those scores as well. Fifty-one percent have a negative view of her and 60 percent believe she is neither honest nor trustworthy.

Despite her negatives, Clinton would beat Trump in a head-to-head contest 47 to 41. Sanders, who has a net favorable rating among the poll's respondents, beats Trump 49 to 41 percent.

Quinnipiac's most recent survey of likely Iowa Caucus voters showed the GOP race was "too close to call." In that poll, conducted between Nov. 16 and Nov. 22, Trump led Texas Sen. Ted Cruz 25 to 23 percent, well within the poll's four-percentage-point margin of error.

Among Iowa Democrats, Clinton held a 51-to-42 percent lead over Sanders.

The presidential primary season will kick off in two months with the Iowa Caucus, scheduled for Feb. 1. The New Hampshire primary will be decided Feb. 9. This campaign's Super Tuesday, in which a dozen states will choose candidates, is scheduled for March 1.